FBI obtained wiretap conversations of Kremlin-linked banker who met with Trump Jr: report
The FBI has obtained wiretapped conversations of a Kremlin-linked banker who later met with Donald Trump Jr. during the 2016 presidential election.
Spanish national police provided the FBI with tapes of Russian oligarch Alexander Torshin’s phone calls with a convicted Russian money launderer, according to a special prosecutor from Spain’s attorney general’s office, Yahoo News reported.
“Just a few months ago, the wiretaps of these telephone conversations were given to the FBI,” according to the special prosecutor, José Grinda Gonzalez, speaking at the Hudson Institute on Friday.
Torshin, a close supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin, briefly met with Trump Jr. at the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) annual convention in Louisville, Ky., in May of 2016. Torshin was known to leverage his membership in the NRA for meetings with high-profile officials.
“Mr. Trump’s son should be concerned,” Grinda said of Torshin’s meetings, according to the report.
The FBI did not say why it sought to obtain the recordings, according to Grinda. Spanish police have investigated Torshin for involvement in a money laundering scheme.
It is not clear what time period the wiretaps were from.
Torshin previously sought to set up a summit between Putin and President Trump in 2016 that never took place, and again tried to meet the president last year during his visit to the U.S. as part of the Russian delegation to the National Prayer Breakfast.
The oligarch is one of several with ties to Putin who were sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department last month to curb their business activities, under a law aimed at punishing Russia for its interference in the 2016 election.
Torshin is a longtime member of the NRA and one of 23 individuals with ties to Russia that the gun rights group has admitted to accepting donations from since 2015.
— Updated at 10:58 a.m.